Jun 13, 2022Liked by Olivia of A Ghost in the Post

Words are rad!!!!!! I love your simple twists of phrases and skillful wielding of "old" words like ethereal... Thank you for your work and time, it is a true pleasure to take in! I like this new thread that you are pulling... weave on--

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Jun 12, 2022Liked by Olivia of A Ghost in the Post

My background is in linguistics and I’ve always loved learning about languages, how people acquire them, and how they impact our understanding of the world. So naturally, I love today’s newsletter! Looking forward to reading part 2 (and potentially part 3)!

I had never heard of Derrida either, and I’m not sure I fully understand his theories after reading the articles (I’ll have to sit with them a little more; thank you for sharing them!), but this quote from the first article you linked stuck out to me: “Because each word depends for its meaning on the meanings of other words, it follows that the meaning of a word is never fully “present” to us, as it would be if meanings were the same as ideas or intentions; instead it is endlessly “deferred” in an infinitely long chain of meanings.” While I agree this is true in speech, it is even more true in writing, and especially for someone bilingual. Take the word “pan.” In English, it can mean the cooking tool, to criticize, or when combined with “out” as in “pan out,” it means to turn out well. But “pan” is also the Spanish word for bread. So as someone who speaks both languages, if I saw the word by itself without any context, I wouldn’t know if those three letters meant one of the first two meanings or the food. It’s interesting because it would probably depend on my state of mind and what language I had most recently been speaking or thinking in; if I had been speaking or thinking in Spanish I’m much more likely to interpret “pan” as something you eat!

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Jun 11, 2022Liked by Olivia of A Ghost in the Post

Like you, I find language intriguing. I especially love the evolution of words. For example, it’s amazing to me that “awful” meant “full of awe,” but that’s not how we use the word today. Or how another word for “walk” — let’s say “plod” — can have a completely different connotation!

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